Making it through the season without any major injuries is almost unheard of for any NFL team these days. Making it to the season without any is rare.
Unfortunately your Houston Texans fell prey to the injury bug before preseason even started.
Well, thankfully “a while” doesn’t translate to the whole season. The big man will miss the entire preseason and likely a week or three of the regular season.
Timeline update: Texans’ RT Tytus Howard is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing hand surgery today, giving him a chance to return for Houston’s Sept 10 regular-season opener vs. the Ravens, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 7, 2023
With center Scott Quessenberry also going down with an injury, the Texans offensive line, not exactly known for being great recently, is getting thin far too quickly.
Houston released their first depth chart ahead of Thursday’s preseason opener:
Based on this, Killian Zierer is the next man up. If you’re wondering who that is and why he’s replacing a first round draft pick, then, you’re likely not alone.
#Texans deal for undrafed Auburn offensive lineman KIllian Zierer includes $10,000 signing bonus, $170,000 of his Paragraph 5 base salary guaranteed for total of $180,000 guaranteed. #Texans gtd $175,000 total for running back Xazavian Valladay with $30K signing bonus @KPRC2— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 3, 2023
With a lot of NFL offenses, the right side of the line is geared more for road grader run blocking while the left operates more from a pass protection mindset. Laremy Tunsil has the left side locked down for rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. But what affect Howard’s absence has on running backs Dameon Pierce, Devin Singletary and Xazavian Valladay remains to be seen.
Looking through one of the Top 100 NFL Free Agents lists doesn’t bring much hope of signing a starter quality tackle off the street. Thankfully, Howard should hit the lineup sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, it’s the Tunsil and Zierer show, until further notice. Unless Charlie Heck is able to switch over to the right side.